It's Sam's Turn: Exploring the coolest, wackiest and unique baseball nicknames of all-time
There's been a lot of unique nicknames in baseball history.
Baseball is often referred to as America’s pastime and since the sport’s inception in 1876, there have been a plethora of players who’ve had a nickname, some more unique than others.
While some of them may be pretty bland, there are a few out there that are pretty astounding for one reason or another. And these nicknames are the ones I want to bring up and highlight.
Of course amongst the great baseball nicknames there’s “The Sultan of Swat” Babe Ruth (a man with a variety of nicknames), Stan “The Man” Musial, Harmon “The Killer” Killebrew, “Big Papi” David Ortiz, “Charlie Hustle” Pete Rose, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron, among many others.
And of course, how could we forget about “Big Sexy” Bartolo Colon?
Being from Iowa and all, Bob Feller’s nickname, “The Heater from Van Meter” holds a special place in my heart.
While these nicknames are some of the more recognizable nicknames, I want to throw out some of maybe the more outlandish nicknames that baseball has had throughout the years.
Also, I don’t know if this counts as a “lesser-known” nickname, but Garry Maddox has the honor of having what I think is one of the best nicknames in sports history, “The Minister of Defense.”
Lou Gehrig’s nickname of “The Iron Horse” might be better known, but did you know that according to some, he had the nickname, “Biscuit Pants?”
Then there’s “Old Tomato Face” Charles Hartnett, who along with Biscuit Pants, doesn’t sound real but after doing research for this piece, I’ve been proven wrong.
How about Johnny “Ugly” Dickshot? Now that one sounds just flat out mean but apparently he called himself an “ugly duckling” or things of that nature. Apparently he liked to joke about “being ugly.” So there’s that.
Speaking of a nickname that’s less than flattering, how about Hugh “Losing Pitcher” Mulachy. While he did have an all-time record of 45-89 on the mound in his career, he was a National League All-Star in 1940.
Fun fact, all of the last five players I mentioned were major leaguers during the mid to late 1930s and into the early 1940s before World War II.
I think nicknames like these are a snapshot of what Major League Baseball was at the time. A league full of nicknames, good ones, bad ones and ones that are somewhere in the middle.
I know there’s a bunch of MLB Hall of Famers that I haven’t mentioned yet like “Yogi” Berra, or the “Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays, or the “Left Arm of God” Sandy Koufax that are known by their nickname, but for me I just think of their names themselves rather than their nicknames (except Yogi Berra, I've never heard someone call him Lawrence Berra).
Honestly, I love the creativity of nicknames. Now granted, some of these nicknames did not age well and wouldn’t fly in today’s generation.
To wrap things up I want to ask people these questions: What are some of your favorite baseball nicknames of all-time? What are some of the more underrated nicknames? Who has the best nickname in today’s league? Or better yet, what nicknames do you use for some of today’s players?
I’m curious to see people’s thoughts on this. Play ball!